Crisis response and recovery

Links to our content about crisis responses and recovery work, setting out useful lessons for future events.

See also our collection of publications about the Covid-19 pandemic and the Canterbury collection, which includes publications about responses to the earthquakes. 

Inquiry into the Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme

31 March 2022: Concerns were raised in the media and our Office about how the Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme (STAPP) was managed. Because of these concerns, and the amount of public money involved, we carried out an inquiry into the STAPP eligibility criteria for funding and the process for assessing funding applications.

Management of the Wage Subsidy Scheme

May 2021: The Wage Subsidy Scheme is the Government's largest single area of spending in response to Covid-19. We carried out a performance audit to review how well the Government has managed the Wage Subsidy Scheme. This report is intended to provide an independent perspective to Parliament and the public and help the public sector prepare for and operate any similar schemes in the future.

Ministry of Health: Management of personal protective equipment in response to Covid-19

June 2020: In April 2020, we agreed with the Ministry of Health to independently review its management of personal protective equipment (PPE) during the early stages of the country’s response to Covid-19. In times of crisis, people need to have trust and confidence in the systems and arrangements set up to support them. We decided that it was important to take an independent look at how the Ministry has been managing both the national reserve of PPE and the supply of PPE during the pandemic.

Implementing the firearms buy-back and amnesty scheme

May 2020: As part of its response to the Christchurch mosque attacks, Parliament introduced a firearms buy-back and amnesty scheme. We examined how effectively and efficiently the Police implemented the scheme.

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority: Assessing its effectiveness and efficiency

January 2017: In our view, CERA did well early on in the recovery. CERA was also effective in leading a co-ordinated government response to the earthquakes. However, CERA found it challenging to maintain momentum. Its role became less clear as it took on more responsibility for delivering more projects and programmes. CERA did not engage the community well, and struggled to demonstrate its effectiveness and value for money because it had inadequate performance measures and information. It also took a long time for CERA to set up effective systems and controls. CERA’s management controls and performance information needed improvement right up to the time of its disestablishment.

Effectiveness and efficiency of arrangements to repair pipes and roads in Christchurch - follow-up audit

May 2016: We found out that the public entities have made good progress in addressing the recommendations that we made in our 2013 report. SCIRT has made solid progress in repairing damaged pipes and roads. Also, the public entities have improved the governance arrangements over SCIRT. These improvements include clearer roles and responsibilities, more effective guidance and clearer direction to SCIRT, and improvements in reporting.

Governance and accountability for three Christchurch rebuild projects

December 2015: This report looks at the governance arrangements for three projects to rebuild essential facilities in Christchurch: the Bus Interchange, the New Central Library, and the Acute Services Building at Christchurch Hospital. We found that governance was most effective when there was a clear structure and when accountabilities, roles, and responsibilities were well defined and understood. Strong leadership was an important part of effective governance, and being clear about who is accountable for project outcomes supports effective governance.

Earthquake Commission: Managing the Canterbury Home Repair Programme - follow-up audit

December 2015: EQC has continued to manage some things well. These include the management of actual repair costs, the management of health and safety, securing reinsurance, and high levels of surveyed customer satisfaction with the quality of repairs immediately on completion of the repairs. Despite the improvements made, EQC could still learn better from complaints and improve its customer focus and interactions.

The Treasury: Learning from managing the Crown Retail Deposit Guarantee Scheme

March 2014: In 2011, we made four recommendations for the Treasury to prepare for potentially large and complex initiatives that might require rapid implementation. The Treasury has responded positively to our recommendations about improving project management and implementing a planning, monitoring, escalation, and reporting framework.

Effectiveness and efficiency of arrangements to repair pipes and roads in Christchurch

November 2013: The report looks at the arrangement to repair and rebuild the roads and underground water, wastewater, and stormwater pipes in Christchurch. The report examines how effectively and efficiently the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority, the New Zealand Transport Agency, and Christchurch City Council are reinstating this “horizontal infrastructure” through an alliance called the Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team (SCIRT). SCIRT demonstrates many of the good practice characteristics of alliancing. It is capitalising on its valuable resource of highly trained specialists to develop practical solutions, and project scoping is done well. SCIRT has sound business systems that create operational efficiencies. When relevant variables are considered, SCIRT projects seem reasonably priced ...

Earthquake Commission: Managing the Canterbury Home Repair Programme

October 2013: In our view, the Earthquake Commission's (EQC) performance to date has been mixed. It has performed well in managing repair costs and setting the home-repair programme up quickly, but has not performed as well in dealing with homeowners. Although efficiency is clearly important, this report is a timely reminder for EQC and others that being in the public service means serving the needs of people ...

Author portrait picture You're the Voice

We've looked at how Christchurch City Council used social media to collect ideas about the central city rebuild...

Managing Threats to Domestic Security

October 2003: In this audit, we set out to provide assurance to Parliament and the public that threats to domestic security are being adequately managed. Our unique mandate as auditor of the public sector enabled us to examine the wide range of arrangements in place to identify and respond to domestic security threats...

Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry: Management of Biosecurity Risks

November 2002: In this report we assessed how MAF manages terrestrial biosecurity risks. We also examined seven case studies as illustrations of MAF’s application of biosecurity risk policies and procedures, and identified areas where we think improvements can be made...